The University of Mount Union in conjunction with the City of Alliance and the Alliance Area Development Foundation (AADF) has recently launched the Technology Accelerator Alliance commonly referred to as TA2 (that’s TA squared, upper case #2). Housed on the Mount Union campus the TA2 mission is to bring together technology innovators, launch their ideas, and accelerate their companies.
Many communities throughout the nation are recognizing the value of business incubation. About one-third of business incubation programs are sponsored by economic development organizations such as Alliance Area Development Foundation. Government entities (such as cities or counties) account for 21% of program sponsors. Another 20% are sponsored by academic institutions, including two- and four-year colleges, universities, and technical colleges. (2006 State of Business Incubation Industry). The collaborated effort taking place in Alliance, Ohio represents all three sponsorship models maximizing the probability of success for the TA2 initiative. The newly appointed CEO is seeking the guidance of a consulting team in establishing company branding.
Housed on the campus of the University of Mount Union, TA2 will look to incubate companies to that of successful enterprises while connecting students to the real world environment of start up, early stage, and successful business operations. TA2 will accommodate both physical and virtual companies along the start up and early stage business development process. More than half of all incubator programs nationwide follow this model. The incubation process will take place over a 60-month time frame with companies being graduated as successful enterprises or eventually released for lack of development. Long-term plans call for graduated companies to be housed in stage two of the TA2 model in locations within the City of Alliance.
The TA2 incubator model will serve a number of critical functions.
- Comprehensive business coaching
- Help with presentation skills
- Links to higher education resources
- Links to strategic partners
- Advisory boards and mentors
- Management team identification
- Technology commercialization assistance
The TA2 incubation model will serve several key objectives
- Business creation and retention
- Diversifying the local economy
- Fostering a community’s entrepreneurial climate
- Building or accelerating growth of local industry clusters